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Locals Approve Huge Leap Forward For Downtown Streetcar

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The Downtown streetcar is on its way--locals have voted (by 73 percent; it needed two-thirds) to help fund the project with a tax on neighborhood property owners; the district "extends approximately three blocks around the proposed Streetcar route," according to a press release. The measure allows for a "not-to-exceed $85 million CFD bond, which includes the $62.5 million the streetcar will receive as construction capital, plus two years of capitalized interest, bond issuance costs, reserve fund, and other costs." That should cover about half of the project's construction costs, with federal funding closing the gap. (There'll be no taxes or bonds until the streetcar gets its full funding and completes its state-mandated environmental review process.) Properties in the district will be taxed based on their proximity to the streetcar line and on their size--it'll be about $4,490 for a 10,000 square foot parcel right on the route, $3,640 at one or two blocks away, and $1,730 at about three blocks. Condo owners will be charged proportionally (and most will pay less than $100 a year).

Plans call for a fixed-rail route that runs along "Broadway, 11th, Figueroa, 7th & Hill Streets to serve the Civic Center, Broadway and the Historic Core, the Fashion District, South Park, L.A. Live and the Convention Center, the Financial District, and restaurant row through the Jewelry District." (A potential alternative would run up to Grand Avenue as well.) The line would run 18 hours a day, seven days a week. Work could start by the end of 2014 and the streetcar could be running "as early as 2016."
· Downtown Streetcar Archives [Curbed LA]